The Freedom of Forgiveness
The Blessing of God’s Forgiveness
“How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.’
There is nothing more vexing than a guilty conscience. When we have sinned and violated God’s law, guilt leaves us sleepless at night and tormented by day. It drives sleep away, and it destroys joy in the day. David understood the guilt of sin. While we often remember David as a man of faith who was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22), he also knew the pain of deep sin.
A study of the life of David leads us to a man of contradictions. On the one hand, the richness and depth of his faith are revealed in the number of Psalms he wrote proclaiming his love for God; he was a man who yearned for a deeper relationship with God. On the other hand, he was also a man of deep sin. He committed adultery and, in an attempt to conceal his sin, committed murder. He was successful as a king but a failure as a father. He raised a son who would be known for his wisdom (Solomon) but also for a son who would become the epitome of a fool (Absalom). He was a father of kings and a father of usurpers. At times his faith would rise to the heights of greatness; at other times, his faith would descend into the depths of despair.
Thus we find in this Psalm one who wrestled with his guilt. Most commentators would agree that this Psalm probably reflects the guilt that plagued David after his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah. David realized the torment of a guilty conscience.
However, only one thing is more deadly than a guilty conscience that feels the pain of unconfessed sin is a seared conscience becomes complacent towards sin. If we allow sin to go unresolved, it can destroy our spiritual perception to the point that it destroys our moral compass. David hints at this in verses six and verse 9. Paul would also warns of this in Romans 1. When people embrace sin to the point that their conscience is corrupted, right becomes wrong, and wrong becomes right. Instead of being repelled by the corruption, they embrace and celebrate it.
So, where do we find hope when captured by sin and plagued by guilt? Where do we find direction in our moral compass becomes corrupted? David provides us with the answer. It begins with confession. No matter how deep our descent into sin, no matter how much guilt may overwhelm the soul, forgiveness is available when we confront and confess our sins. The simple act of confession brings complete and unconditional forgiveness from a gracious God (vs. 5). David was a man after God’s own heart, not because he was perfect but because he was repentant.
While confession brings forgiveness for a guilty conscience, how do we repair a seared conscience? David provides the answer. We re-sensitize our soul when we listen to the instruction of God’s law (vs. 8). When we start to read God’s word, it reawakens our soul and peals away the hard shell of sin. Hebrews 4:12 states, “The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” When we become students of the Bible, our soul becomes attuned to God’s law.
Are you struggling with guilt and disquieted by God’s conviction? The answer is simple. Confess your sin, and he will forgive (1 John 1:9). Are you indifferent to evil and unconcerned about sin? Start to read the Bible and ask God to give you a sensitive heart to him and his utmost desire for you.